US calls elections 'an important moment 'for Nepal

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Washington, Apr 11 (UNI) The Bush Administration has described as 'an important moment' for Nepal the election to the 601-member national assembly that will draft a new constitution for the country.

''We'll see exactly how the election process plays out and what international observers have to say about the process, not only election day but in the run-up as well as post-election,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said yesterday.

He, however, said ''initial reports are that it [the election] is proceeding with some levels of violence and some issues of concern, but in both of those cases, at least initially, it would indicate that the level of violence and some of the issues of concern are somewhat less than we might have expected going in.'' ''I don't think the election results are going to be known for another week to 10 days. And during this period of time, we'll have an opportunity to really gather all the facts and assess them to provide a more definitive analysis of the election and the election period,'' Mr McCormack said.

Former US President Jimmy Carter is among the 850 international observers who are monitoring the elections. About 4,000 candidates from more than 50 parties are in the run.


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